Folks today see the iPad or the iPhone and think Apple’s a real trail blazer, but we know different; Apple pioneered mobile computing with their cool machines for a long time now. Look back to their earliest days to see they’ve focused on computers we can take with us, wherever we go.
The Apple IIc was the first machine marketed as fitting that bill and it was introduced in 1984. Fast forward to today, and we know, not how the story ends, but how far Apple takes mobile personal computing. Here’s Apple’s first portable computer, the IIc. Take a look and you’ll agree- Apple’s come a long way.
The IIc wasn’t a true portable- not as we think of today. Well, for one reason you had to carry the monitor separately. It didn’t have a battery either. Pictured is a great attempt of a mobile monitor called the Flat Panel Display. The IIc came with 128K of RAM and a 1Mhz 65C02A CPU.
C stands for compact
Luggable computers were all the rage in the early 80s. Apple took advantage of advances in electronics to make the Apple II circuitry smaller and fit into a smaller box. The new Apple IIc was much smaller and lighter than anything else Apple had produced. They put a handle on it at the same time and called it a transportable. The C stood for compact.” John Sheesley- TechRepublic
Here’s Apple’s 1984 TV ad promoting its portability.
Then in 1989, Apple released the Macintosh Portable. Much better, but still had obstacles for portability, namely weighing in at 16 lbs, and yet, it was definitely a step in the right direction.
And while Apple introduced many mobile machines- iBooks, Powerbooks and MacBooks- between these early models and its current releases, now compare their ultra-portable machine appropriately called the Air. Their most recent model released in late 2010. Needless to say, I added one to my Mac collection, well that’s not totally true because it is my EDC along with my iPad.
Apple IIc Resources- BYTE Mag: The Apple IIC Personal Computer, WiKi, PC World: Anatomy of an Icon, History of computer design: Apple IIc, TechRepublic: Revisiting the Apple IIc Macintosh Portable Resources: OldComputers.net,